HANOVER, N.H. — Despite being eliminated from the Ivy League title race on Saturday, Harvard showed some grit on Sunday and dealt Dartmouth a big blow as the Crimson managed a split on Sunday in Hanover, N.H. to spoil the Big Green's chances of hosting the Ivy Championship Series next weekend. Harvard took the opening game, 8-7, before Dartmouth rebounded to win game two, 8-3. The game one result ended Dartmouth's 12-game winning streak as the Crimson finished the season in second place in the Red Rolfe Division.
The Big Green will travel to Ithaca, N.Y., next weekend to play Cornell in the best-of-three ICS beginning on Saturday, May 5.
The Crimson jumped on Dartmouth junior Kyle Hunter in the opener, scoring three times in the second inning and four more in the third for a 7-0 lead. Freshman Ethan Ferreira led off the second with a single, took second on a wild pitch and scored on a Kyle Larrow single. Freshman Nick Saathoff then lined a 3-2 pitch well over the fence in right for his first collegiate homer, a two-run job.
In the third, Jeff Reynolds and Jake McGuiggan began things with singles, and an error on a double-play ball loaded the bases with nobody out. Larrow struck again as the junior dumped a two-run single into center, and Saathoff followed with a two-run double.
Dartmouth got on the comeback trail immediately as Dustin Selzer lined an RBI single to left and Jeff Keller connected for a grand slam to make it a 7-5 game.
Then in the fourth, Selzer made it a one-run game with a two-out RBI single up the middle, scoring Jake Carlson who had led off with a bunt single and advanced to third on a groundout and a Chris O'Dowd infield hit. But the Big Green left the bases loaded as junior Joey Novak shut the door in eventually earning the victory in relief.
In the sixth, Harvard got a crucial insurance run when McGuiggan lined a sacrifice fly to center to plate Mike Martin.
It appeared Dartmouth would rally for at least a tie in the bottom half when Tom Roulis led off with a triple into the gap in right-center and O'Dowd followed with a double to left-center. After Selzer drew a four-pitch walk, relievers Zack Olson and Will Keuper — the latter making his first appearance of the year — managed to strike out the side to preserve the 8-7 lead.
In the seventh and final frame, the Big Green was able to get the tying run into scoring position but Keuper pulled the string on his first pitch to O'Dowd to induce a routine pop to short to earn the save. For Keuper, it made for a remarkable story as the senior missed the entire season with an arm injury but told head coach Joe Walsh that he could throw if needed with his college career over today. Keuper struck out two batters in his 1.2 innings of relief to ruin Dartmouth's senior day.
Hunter (2-4) suffered through the shortest start of his career, allowing seven runs, five earned, over three innings on nine hits and a pair of walks with two strikeouts.
Jack Colton had three of Harvard's 10 hits, but it was Saathoff's four RBIs that led the Crimson at the plate.
In the nightcap, Michael Johnson (4-1) kept the Crimson in check for seven innings, giving up just two runs on eight hits and a couple of walks over seven innings while striking out six.
Harvard took a 1-0 lead in the first as Martin singled, stole second and third, then trotted home on an RBI single from McGuiggan.
The Big Green pounced in the second, scoring six times with a little help from the Harvard defense which committed three errors. Selzer scored the first run when he took third on a wild pitch and scored when the throw from the catcher went down the left-field line. Three-straight singles loaded the bases before Carlson reached on an infield hit which scored two runs as the shortstop attempted to get a force at second after making a diving stop in the hole, but merely threw the ball wildly into right field. Both Sclafani and Roulis drove in runs with infield outs to give Dartmouth a 6-1 lead.
Martin doubled and scored on another McGuiggan single in the third, and the score remained at 6-2 into the eighth. The Crimson put runners on the corners with one out against reliever Max Langford to force a move to the bullpen again. Although a run came home on a force play at second, Olson subdued the rally and finished up for his sixth save.
Dartmouth tacked on two in the bottom of the eighth on a booming RBI double to dead center off the bat of Lombardi and the fourth Crimson error of the game.